Joe Manganiello on his real muscles: ‘I’m like a unicorn in the world of actors’

joe m

Joe Manganiello covers the September issue of Men’s Health Mag. It’s his fourth cover in as many years – they must love him over at that magazine. Except maybe not, because I really don’t think these photos are very good, and I also hated his last cover shoot with the magazine, where he looked really ‘roidy. I think I just have to face the fact that I’m never really going to be into him. He’s just not my type. I don’t mind a big guy at all, but I prefer tall and lanky body types, not this. Anyway, Joe talked to the magazine about his body (of course) and how he’s a “unicorn” in the land of the out-of-shape, airbrushed Hollywood actor.

On airbrushed, unhealthy actors: ”A lot of the actors who are on the cover of lifestyle magazines look like they’ve had their waistline airbrushed or they’re wearing winter clothes or whatever… I see them and think, ‘That guy doesn’t work out, I know that guy and he smokes two packs of cigarettes a day and is a complete drunk on the weekends. Now he’s putting out an illusion on the cover of a glossy magazine.’ It’s absurd to me. I’m athletic and I’m healthy. I’m like a unicorn in the world of actors.”

He works out all the time: “I didn’t just train after work. I hit the gym like an animal. I pushed myself to the point where people around me were borderline frightened.”

Working on Magic Mike: “When you’re shirtless every day there’s no let up. So we spent a fortnight doing thousands of push-ups, thousands of curls, thousands of lat raises. We basically spent every day working out for two weeks in a row.”

He loves Arnold Schwarzenegger: “Arnold has built an empire and he didn’t build it by being lazy. I thought I was always busy, say an eight out of 10. He made me realize I was really busy at a two. Hang out with Arnold and you really find out what busy at an eight is.”

[From Men’s Health via Contact Music & the Belfast Telegraph]

I think declaring yourself to be a “unicorn” in any field is probably asking for trouble. But maybe my self-awareness makes me a unicorn in the blogging world. Anyway, I believe that Joe is really into Arnold Schwarzenegger and that’s the kind of career he’d probably like for himself. I just don’t think it’s going to happen for Joe. U MAD?


Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet and Men’s Health.

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90 Responses to “Joe Manganiello on his real muscles: ‘I’m like a unicorn in the world of actors’”

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  1. Kaye says:

    Unicorn? Yeah, I bet you could hear my eyes rolling clear over there.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Is that what that rattling sound was? LOL

    • Sophia says:

      Funny how I have pics of him and I from a few years ago. No one ever wanted them?!

    • Trashaddict says:

      Uh yeah. Let’s invite him to Candy Mountain! Seriously, that cover is beyond airbrushed, no matter what kinda shape he’s in, that’s either the weirdest lighting I’ve ever seen or it was heavily photoshopped…

    • Hmmmm says:

      This is such a shame. He had the same type of attitude in another interview. Think the show was called Not Sam. Something like that. Anyway…the host asked him along the lines of who was in shape in Hollywood and his response: “None of those dudes.” He added that actors quit whatever “habit” they have and inject something and work out for as long as they need to.

      I wonder how long his “relationship” with Sofia will last. I give it a year. At least through award season.

  2. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    Well, isn’t he modest and self-deprecating? How charming. We probably wouldn’t get along, because I hate a man who fights me for the mirror.

    • Lady Macbeth (Hiddles F.) says:

      So modest. And really, let’s say it honestly…. a non-pretentious actor is very refreshing these days. Bwahahaha
      I hate men who fight me for the mirror too!

    • Snazzy says:

      LoL I didn’t even understand what he meant. I usually love the guy (can’t help myself, weakness for muscles ) *hangs head in shame* but that was kind of the dumbest interview yet …

      • perplexed says:

        I didn’t understand his comment either. I figure guys like Chris Hemsworth work out too (well, they’re being paid a lot to do so anyway, and their careers hinge on them looking good).

      • Darkladi says:

        So here’s what I got…”grunt, grunt, me hit gym like animal…grunt. Me like to pick things up and put them down”

      • Hmmmm says:

        Exactly! Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is having a gut-busting laugh over this interview and ended his chucklefest with a “B!tch please!”

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      There are SO many stories about how douchetastic this guy is.
      TheOriginalTiffany met him when she was touring with Cirque and she said he was an egotistical d*ckhead.

      • Kiddo says:

        Well nature compensates sometimes. right? Big muscles in the body, small muscle being the brain. Also, sometimes, big muscles in the body, small muscle…well….

      • Lady Macbeth (Hiddles F) says:



      • Anne tommy says:

        Does not do it for me at all. Nope. In the top pic he looks like he is trying to think really really hard about something…his next gym session I presume. “Douchetastic” is a great word by the way…

    • Kosmos says:

      Agreed, what a turn-off. This is probably all he has to offer, so he focuses on his body and his workouts more than anything, how boring. Of course, he could shock us and turn out to be this incredibly intelligent person who is capable of much more than worshiping his own body…I wonder how long he and Sophia will hang in there together?

  3. ToodySezHey says:

    Wtf does that even mean?

    Wtf is he talking about? Has he seen Hugh jackman, Tom hardy, fassbender? I’d hardly call any of those guys out of shape.

    Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt are 59 and probably in better shape than some 20 yr olds. Channing Tatum? Chris pratt, chris evans Jason momoa?

    Seriously…what is he talking abkut

    • HadleyB says:

      Fassbender isn’t really “healthy, fitness type” though. He drink A LOT, smokes etc. His body is fine, but more thin than fit / athletic. I don’t see him eating salads on the daily.

      I think Tom Hardy can get super fit when it’s needed for a role but it’s not his lifestyle. He also drinks a lot, smokes,and God knows what else. Hugh Jackman I think is one to compare him to regarding fitness/ health but Hugh is actually a likable guy —

      But yeah, I never liked Joe — great body and all. There is something about him that is just unlikeable.

      Give me Fassbender any day — he seems like he knows his faults, he is what he is. There is something sexy about him even though he isn’t the best looking, not tall or super fit. I don’t know but man can he act.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        “Give me Fassbender any day — he seems like he knows his faults, he is what he is. There is something sexy about him even though he isn’t the best looking, not tall or super fit. I don’t know but man can he act.”

        ..and he has a huge dong. I mean, to add to the list
        of his positive qualities.

    • lucy2 says:

      Even on his own (former) show, there are guys (and women) in amazing shape, who I’m sure put in all the work at the gym too. He seems pretty high on himself, and it’s annoying.
      I think he should spend a bit more time focusing on his acting skills too…

    • Jag says:

      Agreed! I guess he forgot about Hugh, who is a wonderful guy and beats him in the muscles department. Also Chris Hemsworth, whose acting, body and face I prefer anyway.

      I do like Joe’s body and hair, but his attitude makes him unattractive to me.

    • stacey says:

      I get what he’s saying. He’s a gym rat and puts in the hard work to look that ripped (and hot IMO).

      You don’t get muscles like Joe unless you put in the blood, sweat and tears! Thats some dedication to working out AND a clean diet he’s got going on. I respect that.

      I think he’s trying to say he doesn’t cut corners with plastic surgery/roids and talks the talk and walks the walk. Whats so wrong with that?

      • zinc says:

        I get that he puts in the work, but does he have anything else to talk about except working out, open begging to be a superhero and his three lines in Magic Mike ? Can anyone point me to any good, substantive acting he has ever done?

        Yet he wonders why no one takes him seriously. Hmm.

      • Jen says:

        Because he’s acting like a special snowflake. He’s stupid.

  4. Jenns says:

    LOL. Ok, dude. Enjoy your 2 seconds of fame.

  5. eliza says:

    Ugh! He is so disgusting to me, there are no words. The only good thing about True Blood this season is they SPOILER, finally killed off this crappy acting Cyclops’ character.

    A unicorn among actors. Bitch please!

    • Lady Macbeth (Hiddles F.) says:

      A uni-scorn among actors, I agree. I didn’t like him even before, I knew there was something off about him.

    • als says:

      True Blood shouldn’t have killed him off, they should have kept him FOREVER AND EVER. They brought him out and they should keep him, not unleash him upon us all. They can keep their ‘unicorn’.

  6. Jen34 says:

    The photos are awful. He doesn’t come off well in the interview, but he is talking to Men’s Health, not Good Housekeeping, and that is what they are looking for. Lol I always feel like I have to stick up for him.

    • Janet says:

      I do too Jen34. Not a fan of the quotes here but I get what he is saying. I have personally been a fan since listening to his interview with Aisha Tyler- Girl on Guy – she does great
      in-depth interviews so you get more than a taste of who someone is. He has a compelling story and has worked hard to get back up (from a self-inflicted bottoming out).

      • Jen says:

        Just because he worked hard doesn’t give him an excuse to be on a high horse and act like he’s so much better than everyone.

  7. ToodySezHey says:

    Damn auto correct. I meant to say Tom and Brad are 50

  8. Caitlin Bruce says:

    I find him to be cringe, cheeseball and super arrogant. Your not a unicorn mate your a donkey with a carrot on your head! !

  9. Mrs. Darcy says:

    Ugh, no thanks, I’ll fight it out with you Kaiser for the hot vikings of the world. Really bad shoot, his face does not look good and he’s not necessarily an ugly guy. He must be so incredibly boring “Hey woman, I worked out for five hours today, sup!”….”Oh, fascinating, what’s for dinner?” “Kale and chicken breasts, babe.”…barf. Whereas I imagine A.Skars, while super ripped at the moment for Tarzan(blech), is way more fun/wants to get naked in the snow and drink beer…. …that’s what I’m talking about…sigh.

    • Minx says:

      Agreed. I’ll take Alex Skarsgård any day of the week and twice on Sunday over roidy Man-jello. Joe’s not even the most special unicorn from his own former show. I didn’t exactly see him stepping up to the plate to represent the US in the Walking with the Wounded South Pole charity expedition either. I’m not saying everyone could or should, but Alex did. Lovely and delicious Swedish man. Joe, put your money where your mouth is, then you can talk. Maybe. I doubt it, but maybe.

      • Mrs. Darcy says:

        I know, right?! This guy is bragging about his body/fitness levels as if they are some sort of beneficial to the planet accomplishment, whereas A.Skars did this amazing thing for charity and keeps his head low/doesn’t expect attention. Thanks for pointing it out, I was too busy focusing on the naked A.Skars lol! Sigh, Swedes are the best.

  10. ds says:

    This guy is just so boring as an actor. In his defense I’ve only seen him in True Blood. In my defense; when you’re on set of a show that is there to entertain and all of the actors look like they’re having fun with their characters, being the most boring one does not make you a unicorn. Yeah, show’s trashy but there are plenty of good actors there and this guy is just forgettable. Sorry if I sound mean I just never got this guys appeal. Arnie may be many things but he’s fun to watch….

  11. Aussie girl says:

    I’m ex was like this. Completely obsessed with his body. Why it was nice to a point, it really got out of control. I’m all for hitting the gym but he was there 6 days a week and would find any excuse to rip of his top or walk naked in front of me ( yes he even did the pecks moving move). In the end I found it more of a put off than anything else.

  12. Izzy says:

    Yes, Joe, you are a very special snowflake.

    Now, ssshhhh, stop talking.

  13. als says:

    What kind of career did Arnold have? I remember Terminator and some other action stuff that used him exclusively for his muscles but I also remember him going into politics (maybe because his acting career wasn’t going anywhere).
    And what is keeping him so busy now? Is he still in politics or does he have a movie coming out, is he producing something?
    Sorry, maybe I am missing some key elements in Arnold’s career but I don’t see what Manganiello is talking about except for the fact that they both have the same body type.

    • Jen says:

      Arnold’s career in the 90s was huge. He had Terminator, but also some fun stuff, like True Lies, Kindergarten Cop, etc. He used his body but he was also aware of how it could be used for comedy (even though I find him gross as a person). He’s making more movies now. He had some crappy movie (that Joe co-starred in!) and an Expendables.

      Joe could never have his career because Joe thinks of himself as a ~serious actor~ and probably talks about himself in the third person.

  14. The Other Katherine says:

    This guy is a mildly amusing comedic actor and a highly motivated fitness fanatic (who is obviously working with some good genetic material from the getting-buff perspective). And that’s it. The End.

    Dude, you are NOT the national animal of Scotland, nor any other kind of special snowflake in the acting world. Sorry to burst your bubble there.

  15. lower-case deb says:

    how come he squints so hard his eyebrows turn into eyelashes?

    especially that last picture…

    i don’t think other actors can do that. so i guess he’s talented that way.

  16. Talie says:

    Well, I think he’ll always work, but he doesn’t seem like someone who will now avoid TV or anything like that. His relationship with Sofia keeps him relevant as well.

  17. OhDear says:

    Oh G-d. The guy seems really insecure – always needing to put someone down to make himself look better.

  18. db says:

    The term “unicorn” has now officially jumped. Thanks, Joe.

  19. littlemissnaughty says:

    Can you imagine the rage if someone like Natalie Portman said that? “I really do look like this, whereas most actresses are simply photoshopped to death and wear Spanx on the red carpet. I put in the work, I’m super special.” Oh hello, wave of hate.

    He’s really not attractive or a good actor.

    • lucy2 says:

      Wow, you are totally right. I never even thought of that, but a woman saying that would be ripped to shreds everywhere.

    • FingerBinger says:

      You’re right about that. People think Joe is a meat head anyway so that’s probably why no one is coming down on him too hard. I don’t take this guy seriously at all. I don’t think many people do.

      • Shantal says:

        But if it were a woman who people didn’t take seriously they’d still be ripping her to shreds.

  20. Lilacflowers says:

    Joe, perhaps you aren’t getting the roles you want because you only talk about your body and you never actually talk about acting? And also because you cannot actually act?

  21. Happyhat says:

    I read Joe’s book about bodybuilding and ‘breaking mental walls’.

    It’s alright, actually, when talking about re-training your mind, mental toughness and all that. I think that Joe sees himself as a successor to Arnold in the Bodybuilding-Actor stakes.

    The book has a forward from Arnold, for starters, and is kinda billed as a continuation from Arnold’s ‘Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding’ (which is a kinda famous in the bodybuilding world). Except it’s not really, but never mind.

    But it does go into detail about how Joe was really unhealthy and depressed at one point, and working out helped save his life. And that can have an affect on how you see yourself compared to others. If anyone remembers months ago there was an article here about a…figure skater? Dancer? A female athlete of some kind, who bitched about how everyone in Hollywood was thin and unhealthy. Same thing really.

    I’m not sure how I feel about actually knowing all this stuff…

  22. BNA FAN says:

    Now i know why Joe M was looking so bored with Sofia V in Miami last week. I bet he was thinking this woman is using my time when I could be at the gym. I don’t see this relationship lasting. IMO, SV is high maintenance and he’s high maintenance.

  23. kri says:

    Lmao! Priceless. Honestly, he is the male version of Stacy Keibler. God, how boring. This is why I just cannot be attracted to him. I see him, I know I’m supposed to be like “oooh, super unicorn hunk”. but nope..just nope.

  24. Algernon says:

    You know what’s a real unicorn in Hollywood? A male actor over 35 who’s known for his body and *isn’t* on steroids. The only one who leaps immediately to mind is Jeremy Renner, and I feel like Joe is talking about him here, “I know that guy and he smokes two packs of cigarettes a day and is a complete drunk on the weekends.” I happen to find Renner hot and approve of him shirtless, and a big part of why I find him hot is that he looks like a fit 43 year old. He does not look like a roided-out rage monster, which is what Joe looks like to me.

  25. lisa2 says:

    I never watched that TB show. But he is just not my type. I think he got some attention from that Magic Mike movie and women were swooning over him and it has gone to his head. What he is not getting that women swooning over you for your body is not going to get you the movie roles you obviously want. He is “thirsty” for it and you can smell it a mile away. He has been hinting at getting a super hero film and he wants to it badly.

    When I see pictures of him and Sophia she looks way more into him than he does her. But it could be just the pictures.

    There must be something about him that is turning off casting directors and such. I just find him very Meh..

  26. Frida_K says:

    I could never imagine Dwayne Johnson saying something like this. The Rock is always kind and positive.

    I also don’t think anyone like Tom Hardy or Hugh Jackman would ever speak disparagingly about other people’s muscles and/or training.


    Not impressed, Joey, I am not impressed.

    • Lila says:

      Totally agree. There are plenty of built actors out there that put in the work but don’t look down on those who don’t. They’re actors, not bodybuilders, for crying out loud. Some of them might choose to use their free time to work on…oh I don’t know, acting? instead of a 6 pack.

      And respect for those that maintain a high level of fitness but don’t constantly shove it down our throats, like Jason Statham or Jessica Biel.

      For those who haven’t seen it, Statham’s human flag is pretty awesome×150.jpg

  27. Char says:

    I kind of get what he is saying. A lot of actors only bulk up for a movie. Sure there are some that are “built” all the time (The Rock, Chris Hemsworth, Channing Tatum, etc), but there are plenty that arent. I think for him, being fit = being muscular. Either way, calling himself a unicornis hilarious. But I cant help it, I love Joe. I love a tall, built man. Skinny doesnt do it for me.

    • Jen says:

      Why do you love him, besides his body? Best as I can tell he’s an egomaniac.

    • Shantal says:

      Why though? You mentioned The Rock and Hemsworth, who are both tall and built, but unlike Manganiello, they actually seem pleasant to be around. Why not stan for them instead of some total douchecanoe?

      • Char says:

        There are plenty of actors & actresses that people still love, even if they have a reputation for being terrible people. I don’t know that much about Joe, & he certainly isn’t my favorite. I just think he’s attractive. I didn’t even watch him on True Blood, although he fits the description of Alcide from the books (for me). I thought he was funny in What to Expect when your Expecting & Magic Mike. Channing Tatum is one of my fav’s & plenty of people think he is a horrible actor. 🙂 Of course the difference is that it is hard to find someone to say a bad word about Channing as a person.

  28. Josefa says:

    I couldn’t even read the whole extract of interview, and it was 4 questions. This guy is the total opposite of what I like in a man. He’s just… no.

  29. LAK says:

    He’ll never be Arnie that’s for sure……

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      No, I always got the feeling Arnie used his body building as a means to an end, and was a very savvy businessman.

      • Josefa says:

        Yeah, guys like Arnie and The Rock know their brand very well. They are the kings of tacky movies and they don’t take themselves too seriously as actors. They exploit their meathead image in the smartest way I could think of. This guy is an even bigger joke than those 2 because he doesn’t even realize how much of a joke he is.

  30. Mixtape says:

    I don’t really know much about this guy, but consider the audience he was speaking to — Men’s Health readers. Pretty much the exact opposite demographic of CB, so I’m not surprised it fell totally flat here.

  31. Virgilia Coriolanus says:

    Let’s look at the bright side–at least he didn’t talk about how his AHMAZING acting skills came from Carnegie Hall College (or whatever it was called).

    Now he’s gonna be all bitchy about other people’s bodies….how very Goopish and Tracy Anderson-ish.

    Dude, you’re not THAT hot. At all.

    • Darkangel says:

      Yes, GOOP comes to mind. But at least Gwyneth has the pedigree, career, and talent to (somewhat) justify her high-mindedness. There are many actors who have both great bodies AND have great careers. But one can’t say the same for Joe, who at this very moment is unemployed. Think about how many superhero movies they’re making and yet, this guy, with his action figure physique, can’t get himself cast in any of them!

    • Sassy says:

      Virginia, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is a world renowned college named after Andrew Carnegie and Andrew Mellon. (look them up). He graduated from a really great school with a school of engineering foremost and a very good School of Dramatic Arts. The fact that he was accepted as a student at CMU puts him ahead of the norm. Whatever he does with his career going forward is up to him.

  32. S says:

    I bet his camera roll is full of bathroom selfies.

  33. Lady says:

    Have you ever worked crazy hard at something and then someone you KNOW did not put in the time and the work got credit? Yeah it sucks! I think this was his point!

  34. Sarah says:

    Yeh, I don’t really see anything that wrong with his statements in the first paragraph. I think that about other women I know! I have friends and acquaintances who take adderall to be thin, purge after every meal, take coke, take laxatives, etc and they are thinner than me, whereas I eat healthy and have a trainer, and am stuck at 5’6 125lbs (which Im ok with). But when I see these girls posting on instagram and facebook, I think it’s so cheap how they are showing off what they cheat to get. I think that’s where Joe was going with that. And I 100% believe that people in Hollyweird do strange, cheap things to look they way they do. Drugs, plastic surgery, lipo, dehydration, tape worm, whatever will make them look their best so they can make a buck and get famous.

  35. Allie says:

    Unicorn is the perfect word for it. Most actors aren’t spending all their time in a gym to get big and stay big, they do it for roles and then shrink back down ASAP. Joe M. makes it his business to be the big muscly guy.
    I can’t tear down a guy for putting it out there that he works hard to look like this when the majority of his peers are just photoshopped.

  36. Annaliese says:

    Honestly, I look at pictures like this and think, “Somebody buy this poor boy a bra.”

    Why on earth would I be interested in someone who has nothing but a body to recommend him? You can find those anywhere.

  37. Lydia says:

    He and that Modern Family woman deserve each other. Both are completely full of themselves. In 5 years, no one will be talking about them–no staying power.

  38. mackla77 says:

    This would be funny if it weren’t so sad. There are literally hundreds of actors out there who are as fit as Joe and work as hard. He got a huge break playing a werewolf on an HBO show that blew up. Otherwise, he’s still a never was. The guy can NOT act. He makes Arnold look like Peter O’Toole. He has no ability to convey emotion on screen or live, and he needs to wake up and understand his career IS his muscles, and take what he can get. He totally embarrassed himself this summer playing Stanley in “Streetcar.” Even female critics who had been smitten by him shredded his performance. He now takes himself way too seriously, and wants people to believe he’s “deep” or somehow special? Yes, there are plenty of actors who don’t spend five hours a day in the gym – that’s because they can actually act and make us believe they are different people, and make us want to pay to see them again. Philip Seymour Hoffman’s bowel movements had more talent than Joe. Hey Joe, go buy yourself a sense of humor, and quit the narcissistic frenzy of stupidity. Watch a few good actors work and try to imitate them. There are 50 guys at every gym as ripped as you. But there aren’t 3 who were able to go to college and get a huge career break, get the genetic gift of height and ability to build mass, and yet emerge as total jerks who seem likely to blow it all. Be thankful and humble. Read what the Giant’s running back, David Wilson, said yesterday after he found out his career is over at 23. That’s a young man who deserves a great woman and a wonderful life. You’re just a self-obsessed hunk of meat who over-trains and will have no kidneys in five years. Go away.